“He is a martyr to the cause of justice and peace. His death demands of us that we pursue that cause with even greater vigour and determination.”
The words of Nelson Mandela following the assassination of Chris Hani on 10 April, 1993 continue to resonate as we recommit ourselves to building a South Africa that truly belongs to all who live in it.
On this day 26 years ago, the nation was rocked by news that the secretary-general of the South African Communist Party (SACP) had been killed outside of his home in Dawn Park, Boksburg, shot in the head and back by the Polish far-right immigrant, Janusz Waluś.
Hani’s killing, on the eve of the first democratic elections, threatened to plunge our country into violence and civil unrest, but instead came to mark a momentous turning point in our transition from apartheid to democracy.
Tragically, Hani was never able to taste the fruits of hard-fought freedom. Today, as we commemorate the death of a revolutionary icon, we must also honour his legacy. A vote in the upcoming elections on May 8 is an opportunity to advance the ideals of equality and shared prosperity he stood for.
From his earliest years and throughout his life, Hani experienced the oppression and grave social injustices of the apartheid system – from daily struggles of life in a rural village of the former Transkei where he was born, to the reprehensible policy of Bantu education during his time at Matanzima Secondary School, to his fierce opposition to the apartheid regime as chief of staff of uMkhonto weSizwe.
In the spirit of Chris Hani, we are committed to ending the social inequality that still affects so many South Africans today.
A year ago, the African National Congress set
out on a path of growth and renewal. Our 2019 People’s Manifesto is our
plan to transform our economy in order to address the challenges that continue to affect the people Hani
fought for: the poor and working class, the disenfranchised, and the youth. It
is our plan to better the lives of South Africans who still experience the
injustice of poverty, and lack access to basic services, education, healthcare
and decent jobs.
This is our chance to continue pursuing “the cause of justice and peace” in order to grow a future South Africa where everyone, black and white, can prosper.